Toughie No 2511 by Hudson
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
There’s a lot of GK in this puzzle but most of it is fairly accessible (though I repeat what I said last week about some clues offering more difficulties for overseas solvers).
Hudson sometimes gives us a Nina – I can’t find one here so do tell us if you can (there’s no prize just heaps of glory).
I found out only last Wednesday that readers of my blogs using some devices could not see the text visible when letting the cursor hover over a picture. Following a suggestion from LetterBoxRoy I’ve changed the way I set up the text, so please let me know if you cannot see it now (NB not all pictures have any associated text, but this week most do).
Thanks to Hudson.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a First episodes of Game of Thrones heralded increased copying of Middle Age style (6)
GOTHIC: initial letters of six words in the clue.
5a Here’s Juno with Sword (and not a large number — about 500) (8)
NORMANDY: stick together a conjunction meaning ‘and not’ and a word meaning a large number or numerous containing the Roman number for 500. If the reference to Juno and Sword isn’t clear look here.
9a/11a After century scored by lunch, caught Somerset’s opener in late game (10,8)
MORNINGTON CRESCENT: this is a daft but funny game regularly played on the radio programme “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” where the aim is to reach this station on the London Underground. The first word when split 7,3 could mean a century scored by lunch – now add the cricket abbreviation for caught and an adjective meaning late or up-to-the-minute containing the opening letter of Somerset.
10a Communist leader of the highest quality stripped of all power (4)
TITO: start with an adjective (3-3) meaning ‘of the highest quality’ and remove both occurrences of the abbreviation for power.
11a See 9 Across
12a Shocked exclamation when crashing into 25 cycling? (6)
AGHAST: insert an exclamation of surprise or triumph into the answer to 25a after its letters have been cycled.
13a Jim Bob maybe discovered singer (4)
ALTO: Jim Bob was the name of one of the family featured in a US TV series of the 1970s. Remove the outer letters of the family name.
15a Press meets Charlie boy in warship (4-4)
IRON-CLAD: string together a verb to press, the letter represented by Charlie in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and a synonym for boy.
18a Sailor and German soldier could be all over the place (8)
ABUNDANT: charade of one of the abbreviations for a sailor, the German word for ‘and’ and our usual 6-legged soldier.
19a Backspin shots? (4)
NIPS: split the first word 4,4 and do as it now says.
21a Endless test featuring four bits of useless information (6)
TRIVIA: remove the final letter from a test or experiment and insert the Roman number four.
23a Elderly earl in gunroom holstering a Colt? (8)
YEARLING: hidden in the clue.
25a One hoping for a fast buck (or deer) (4)
STAG: double definition, the first a speculator applying for shares in a new issue on the Stock Market with the intention of selling them immediately to make a quick profit.
26a Ace Doctor Sharples approach: a shot in the arm? (10)
ADRENALINE: paste together the abbreviation for ace in card games, one of the abbreviations for doctor, the forename of Soap character Sharples and a synonym for approach or tactic.
27a Former royal diva accepting charity (8)
ADELAIDE: the name of the wife of William IV is constructed by inserting a word for charity or assistance into the name of an English singing star. Here’s a heart-warming clip of the latter’s surprise appearance amongst a number of tribute acts of herself (thanks to Mr K for first bringing the clip to my attention).
28a Irritable, offensive, cold, hungry, gutted (6)
TETCHY: concatenate the name of an offensive by the Vietcong during the Vietnam war, the abbreviation for cold and the outer letters of hungry.
2d Old, gloomy hum (5)
ODOUR: the abbreviation for old and an adjective meaning gloomy or stern.
3d Easily passes from father to son (5,4)
HANDS DOWN: double definition, the first a phrase meaning easily (like a jockey winning without having to try very hard).
4d Run 20 out (6)
CANTER: an anagram (out) of 20d gives us a type of run much favoured by Senf.
5d Turning on utter rubbish featuring dancing on set is half right? (3,8,4)
NOT STRICTLY TRUE: reverse ON, add an anagram (rubbish) of UTTER and insert the short name of a dancing programme seen on your TV set. Hudson’s view of the programme appears to coincide with mine!
6d Mad baronet gathering 1,000 mercenaries? (4-1-3)
RENT-A-MOB: an anagram (mad) of BARONET contains the Roman numeral for 1,000.
7d American longing for letter (5)
AITCH: one of the abbreviations for American followed by a longing.
8d Go out with ’60s heart-throb Terence — this will mark the occasion (4-5)
DATE-STAMP: a verb to go out with and the surname of actor Terence (who once shared a flat with Michael Caine – not a lot of people know that!).
14d Released mounted troops to protect British monarch (9)
LIBERATED: reverse (mounted) a word for a detachment of troops and insert an abbreviation for British and the regnal cipher of our Queen.
16d How Liberace found his keys during a power cut? (9)
CANDLELIT: cryptic definition based on the name of an album by Liberace (not one I’d heard of). Thanks to Wahoo for pointing out that the clue probably relates to his always having a lit candelabrum on his piano.
17d Mother Teresa evacuated hospital — air disturbed Dutch courtesan (4,4)
MATA HARI: weld together an affectionate word for mother, the outer letters of Teresa, the map abbreviation for hospital and an anagram (disturbed) of AIR.
20d Multiple tickets landing English composer in court (6)
CARNET: insert the name of the composer of ‘Rule Britannia’ into the abbreviation for court. I only knew this as a French word having used it to buy books of tickets on the Paris Metro.
22d The Night Watch? Van Dijk? Not right! (5)
VIGIL: remove an abbreviation for right from the forename of Mr Van Dijk, the Dutch footballer who plays for Liverpool.
24d Plugging Isopon in the hole, about halfway round (5)
NINTH: a hidden word found halfway through words 2-5 of the clue could identify the approximate halfway point in a round of golf.
I have 5a, 10a and 5d on my podium. Which clue(s) succeeded best for you?